Wake Up Here: Bagni di Pisa, Tuscany

Long has the Italian Riviera overshadowed the beauty of the scenic countryside. Drive inland beyond the coast to a quieter, more serene atmosphere in the undulating terra of Tuscany. Navigate through the vineyard clad countryside, where storybook-style accommodation, bustling restaurants and the smell of perfumery farms invite you into a romantic summer blur. Tuscany epitomises Italy for many travellers.

Lyrical landscapes, world renowned art and the promise of cucina contadina (farmer’s kitchen) entice guests from all corners of the globe, but what about the thermal baths? Terme, as they are known in Italian, are scattered throughout Tuscany, where the earth was once a shifting hot bed of volcanic activity. While many of these are in Southern Tuscany, Saturnia being the most famous, several luxury hotels in the northern territory of the region offer the experience to guests through their in-house spas.

A historic spa resort nestled in a quiet valley in northern Tuscany, in the village of San Guiliano, Bagni di Pisa boasts its own natural thermal baths, ideal for those unable to travel further south to experience the likes of Saturnia. This stop on the road trip is purely for respite — the 18th Century village is quiet and tranquil, with a backdrop of the Monte Pisano hills providing an essence of seclusion for Bagni’s guests.

The ex-summer residence of the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Bagni di Pisa dates back to 1743 and still maintains many of its original features and has bags full of grandeur. The resort attracts a storybook of global characters, including Richard Gere, whose room we slept in!

However, the main attraction here is the spa. Benefiting from naturally warm water rich in minerals, the spa is divided between two areas, including a year-round outdoor pool, a Turkish bath, floating pool and relaxation cave — yes, it’s an actual cave. World-class spa treatments welcome guests to check in to check out, enjoying a few days of relaxation in this picturesque, silent town.

Excellent Tuscan food, a charming rural setting with a hillside olive grove and a convenient village location between Pisa and Lucca make this a haven pitstop to relax between sightseeing trips.

However, if the Leaning Tower doesn’t take your fancy, remain in respite and visit Bagni di Pisa’s neighbouring sister hotel, Grotto Giusti.

Situated in Monsummano Terme, just a few kilometres from Florence, Pisa and Lucca, Grotta Giusti is a majestic thermal spa hotel that has earned its reputation as one of the most prestigious hotels in the Tuscan locale. Originally a prestigious 19th century villa, the glamourous property features a historic thermal grotto that has attracted wellness enthusiasts from around the world. Grotto Giusti offers unexpected luxuries for every visitor., with the perfect balance of historical charm and modern aesthetics that offers.

For more information and to book your stay in this Tuscan oasis, please visit www.bagnidipisa.com

Caoilfhionn Rose

Caoilfhionn is a freelance travel writer who enjoys slow travel and avoiding landmarks in favour of diving into a destination's culture. Instagram: @CaoilfhionnRose

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